First Lady Mara Kimmel
Mara has a long career in Alaskan public policy focused on issues of rights and justice, including being on faculty at both Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Mara has practiced law in Alaska since 1996, and co-founded the Alaska Institute for Justice - Alaska’s only non-profit agency providing low cost immigration legal services, language access services and research and policy analysis on issues impacting human rights in Alaska. She is motivated by the many people she has met and worked with over the years who have stood in the face of trauma, violence and persecution, yet who maintain their strength and resilience. Mara is also enthralled when she gets to watch her students grow and learn and engage in our incredible community.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mara worked with Alaska Native tribes on environmental governance issues. Mara is the recipient of the Alaska Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Access to Civil Justice Committee. In addition to her PhD candidacy, Mara has a J.D. from the University of Minnesota, a Master's Degree for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Natural Resources Management), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California (Political Science).
Currently, Mara is the Walter J. Hickel Professor of Strategic Development and Entrepreneurship at Alaska Pacific University. She is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North, and is almost done with her PhD studies.
Most especially, Mara loves being with her family, exploring Alaska and the world, hiking, skiing and adventuring. She is excited to see what the future brings, for her kids, her family and for our community.